Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Alibaba, Amazon duel for SEAsia’s online shoppers

Global titan competition is intensifying for a region projected as the next high-growth frontier for online retailers

Competition for Southeast Asia’s fast growing e-commerce market is intensifying, as industry titans Alibaba and Amazon launch new ventures and acquisitions in a region projected to be the next high-growth frontier for online retailers.

US-based Amazon and Chinese-run Alibaba, both formidable in their home markets with an estimated 60% and 80% share of online shopping respectively, are now vying for market supremacy in a region of over 600 million consumers.

Amazon’s entry into Southeast Asia in July saw the launch of its ‘Prime Now’ service in Singapore, an app available in the country’s iTunes and Google Play stores that promises free two-hour delivery for customers across the city-state who place orders above S$40 (US$29).

Previously, Singaporeans were only able to order select items on Amazon’s website, with most products subject to high international shipping fees. Many saw Amazon’s venture into Singapore as a bold initiative: unlike other countries where it previously launched express delivery services, the e-commerce giant lacked a retail and logistics presence in the island nation.

Read the full story at the Asia Times.

Nile Bowie is a writer and journalist with the Asia Times covering current affairs in Singapore and Malaysia. He can be reached at nilebowie@gmail.com.